Pacific's first gender and human rights peer review underway in Nauru

The first in a series of peer reviews looking at gender and human rights policies and programmes in Pacific Islands countries gets underway this week in Nauru.

The Human Rights and Gender Peer Review supported by the European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, will examine good practices, identify barriers, and provide solutions toward integrating gender and human rights commitments into national development plans, planning processes and budget cycles.

“Gender equality and human rights are foundational values for the Pacific region that we collectively aspire to upholding. These peer reviews are part of our work under the Forum Compact and they are based on the idea that we can learn a lot from our Pacific neighbours. We have experienced people across the region and reviews like these allow them to share their professional insights and learning with one another,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.  

Peer reviews gained political support from Pacific Leaders through the Forum Compact which emerged from the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Cairns. Since then they have been conducted in 13 countries focusing on strengthening country systems, institutions and policies for national planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management primarily through peer to peer learning and knowledge sharing.

“'The EU is very proud to support the Pacific's first gender and human rights peer review exercise. This is an important undertaking, which will allow Nauru and other Pacific Island countries to take stock of their human rights and gender equality commitments. The EU looks forward to the recommendations and implementation of it into national development plans. Gender equality is at the core of European values and enshrined in the EU political and legal framework. The EU's strategy and action plan to promote Gender equality and women's empowerment aims at changing the lives of girls and women by focusing on girls and women’s physical integrity, promoting their economic and social rights and their empowerment and strengthening their voice and participation,” said the Deputy Head of Delegation for the European Union for the Pacific, Corrado Pampaloni.

The Nauru Gender and Human Rights Peer Review will be held between July 10 & 14 with a women led peer review team comprising the Government of Tonga Principal Economist, Ma’u ‘Alipate Leha, Fiji House of Sarah – Anglican Diocese of Polynesia’s Tupou Vere, and the Forum Secretariat’s Gender Issues Officer Seema Naidu.

As part of the review, a workshop on assessing human rights and gender equality commitments in national and sector plans and budgets will be held with key government sectors on Tuesday 11 July. A national stakeholder consultation will be held on Thursday 13th July.  

The second Peer Review will be held in Vanuatu from July 27-1 August 2017